Cian O’Connor wins Portmore GAIN Horse Feeds/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix
Cian O’Connor triumphed in the seventh leg of the GAIN Horse Feeds/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix league when proving fastest with Quick Shine in a nine horse decider. A lucrative day for O’Connor’s Karlswood Stables, O’Connor’s team filled the top three placings in the £4,000 feature class at the Portmore Autumn Championships, sponsored by the Equestrian Store.
Olympian O’Connor, coming at the midway point of the jump-off, set the benchmark at a fault free round in a time of 41.76 seconds which would prove unbeatable despite a strong challenge from former World Champion Dermot Lennon.
This was only O’Connor’s second class with the eight-year-old Numero Uno-sired Quick Shine, the pair finished in the top ten at the leg of the Autumn league in Eglinton in their first outing. Owned by Chansonette Farms, Quick Shine is normally seen under American young rider Lillie Keenan.
O’Connor said, “Lillie is currently in college at Harvard and has five really nice horses based with us. She comes over a couple of times a month to train and we keep the horses going for her. She’s a good rider and works very hard at it which makes my job very easy. Her mother Pam was over this weekend and it was nice for her to see Quick Shine win.”
Karlswood’s stable jockey Ross Mulholland and Keenan were the only other riders to post a double clear on the night to secure the next two places in the line-up. Mulholland aboard Ahmed du Calvaire was the quicker of the two having set the original standard to beat at 42.19. Keenan put in a solid performance on the nine-year-old Salito-sired Super Sox when recording 43.25.
Dermot Lennon showcased the shortest routes home on two of his mounts but proved out of luck with a single error to finish on four faults with both. Making his first assault on O’Connor’s time with Fleur IV, Lennon logged 38.63 but lowered the penultimate oxer.
Proving even quicker on his second attempt with Gelvins Touch, Lennon stopped the clock in an exceptionally fast time of 36.27 but faulted on the home straight once again.
Sophie Dalm completed the top six with Remake Lande. Looking set to keep a clean sheet in the clocked round, Dalm slipped down the line-up when the final vertical was left minus its top rail in a time of 44.23.
Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League Portmore EC 25th October 2015 Result
Sponsored by the Equestrian Store Portadown
Cian O’Connor Quick Shine 0/0 41.76
Ross Mulholland Ahmed du Calvaire 0/0 42.19
Lillie Keenan Super Sox 0/0 43.25
Dermot Lennon Gelvins Touch 0/4 36.27
Dermot Lennon Fleur IV 0/4 38.63
Sophie Dalm Remake Lande 0/4 44.23